Rudy's Bills

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Ben Smith at Politico broke the story of how "Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons, according to previously undisclosed government records," but it took the more tabloid flavor of the New York Daily News to give us the image above. They also situate the scoop nicely:

It has been known since 2000 that then-Mayor Giuliani used his official, taxpayer-funded NYPD detail to escort him to weekend getaways at Nathan's Southampton condo as early as 1999, well before his marriage to Donna Hanover dissolved the following spring.

Back then, the Giuliani administration stonewalled reporters trying to nail down the costs for guarding the mayor during his Nathan liaison. The full tab remains a city secret.

But the documents obtained by the Politico.com Web site through Freedom of Information laws now show for the first time how Giuliani's administration seemed to scatter travel costs for security details during that time among obscure mayoral offices.

Looks like it's time to say "9/11!" some more. I'm sure it's relevant somehow. Speaking of which, in the construction of the Giuliani 9/11 mythos, part of what's gone missing is the large role that George W. Bush played in setting the stage for Rudy's heroics by so utterly failing to perform his head of state functions properly in a moment of crisis. That day people were really freaked out since, after all, nobody was quite sure what had happened and the President of the United States spent the bulk of the day running and hiding or something, and then that evening delivered a terrible speech. Under the circumstances, Giuliani's composed performance felt very reassuring. But it was only a big deal because Bush was so inept; a better response from him and there would have been no "America's Mayor."

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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